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EC did not breach any law – Jean Mensa to re-publish full register

EC Chair, Mrs Jean Mensa

The Electoral Commission (EC) has dispelled allegation of a data breach after it made the full list of the 2020 voter register available to the public.

Despite concerns about privacy breaches, the EC said it did nothing unlawful when it published, for the first time ever, the entire voters’ register.

A google drive link emerged on Friday, November 20, which displayed details of the over 17million registered voters.

The voters were grouped according to polling centres, constituencies and regions with corresponding details of age and ID number, among others.

However, on Monday, November 23, the election management body pulled down the link after public criticism on privacy.

EC Chair, Mrs Jean Mensa, explained at a meeting with journalists on Tuesday, November 24, that the Commission did not err by making the register accessible to the public.

“C.I. 127 requires that the provisional voters’ register is published on our website,” she said. “That same law states that the final register is published in a manner that the Commission deems fit”.

She explained that the IT personnel of the Commission were addressing some technical issues after which the list would be made accessible on their official website.

Some members of the public had raised concerns about the sex, age, gender and other details that were made public earlier.

That, the EC said would probed with a way forward.

Some IT experts had described the earlier release as “very irresponsible” because the details of each voter had been made available for anyone who had ulterior motives.

Fraudsters could use the details to register a SIM card for illegal activities, they claimed.

The data could also be used to impersonate individuals for banking transactions and social media activities and other harmful cyber activities.

Experts suggested that the EC should have rather created a portal where each voter will enter his ID number to access his or her details and very privately.

The voter’s register has never been released to the public, except to political parties.

EC independent and not in bed with the NPP government

With the largest opposition party, the NDC, constantly accusing the EC of conniving with the government, Mrs Mensa further reiterated that there was no way the EC could rig the elections to favour any political party.

According to Mrs Mensa, she has had only official meetings with the president and no other interactions that should suggest an intention to steal the verdict for any party.
She said since after her appointment, “I have met the president on two occasions only and those have been official, and have been attended by all the Commission members”.

She said that the media and other organisations were playing a watchdog role by monitoring the activities of the EC.

These organisations, she said were also involved in the collation and so the 2020 elections would be fair.

Ghana heads to the polls in less than two weeks to elect a president and legislators for the next four-year tenure.

 

 

 

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